Windows 11 is out this week (although it may take a while for it to reach your machines). As a Windows Insider MVP, I’m running Windows 11 using the Windows Insider Program where everyone subscribed to the channel receives weekly updates, depending on which channel you prefer to be on. Windows 10 had limitations in the accounts you could add to the default email app. In Windows 11, however, we can now add Office 365 or Exchange accounts. Yes, you read it correctly. Just to get your attention, I ran into several issues that I will highlight below. Windows 11’s default mail app lets you add multiple types of accounts, and here’s a snippet of what the Windows 11 Mail app looks like in the preview edition:
Take a look at the Windows 11 Mail app first
The look and feel are excellent. You can see all of your accounts with your folders on the left, and you can add new mail directly above the Accounts section.
If you click Accounts on the left side a new section opens on the right which shows you the current accounts that are set up and you can either link an inbox or add an account. Here’s what the menu looks like for that:
When you click on the + Add an account button, you will be presented with a range of options as shown below:
As you can see above, I’ve highlighted the option for Office 365 and Exchange. You have other options, such as Outlook.com, which will be added automatically if you signed into Windows 11 with your account. You can create a free account or log into Google, Yahoo, iCloud, or any POP / IMAP account you may have. When you click on the Office 365 option, you will be prompted to enter your email address. As soon as you press Enter, the Office 365 page appears and asks for your password.
Some bugs to fix
I noticed that if I try to add an account that has multi-factor authentication enabled and you need to approve it on your Microsoft Authenticator app, the Windows 11 Mail app gets an error and then quits. You have to start all over again. If you add an account that 2FA is not enabled on, the account adds up perfectly and the Windows 11 Mail app lists it in your accounts section as shown in the first image. It’s possible that multi-factor accounts are not yet supported, or the version of Windows 11 Insider I’m having an issue with.
If you right-click on the account you just signed into, you’ll notice that you don’t have as many options to work with as shown below:
If you click Account settings, the information below will be presented to you:
Here you can change the account name or settings, which launches the Office 365 page. But when I click on Sync options for your content, Windows 11 becomes unresponsive and you cannot click anything.
Another thing I want to point out is that the folder I have on my account is not showing up in the Windows 11 Mail app. Outlook on the web (OWA) and Microsoft Outlook, however, display all folders. But if you are using Outlook, when you get a new email, it will automatically show up in Windows 11 Mail. But nothing came after I sent a test email and clicked the Sync button. It just stays there with the little dots crossing the screen and doesn’t show anything.
An Outlook account syncs perfectly and updates in real time, just like an Exchange or Microsoft 365 account does. While the Windows 11 Mail app is nice and seems to work fine for Outlook.com accounts, it seems like the option to add an Exchange or Office 365 account is still buggy. I tried the same on an older version of Windows 11 Insider, and the result is the same, so I should give the Microsoft Windows 11 team some feedback on this.
Running Outlook 2019 on Windows 11 Insider works fine, but I noticed the CPU randomly goes up and then goes down again. It could be Windows 11 or whatever version of Outlook I’m using.
You may want to wait for the final version
So if you want to use the default Windows 11 Mail app and you’re on the Windows 11 Insider program, you might want to wait for the next consumer release or the next Windows 11 Insider Preview to see if the Windows 11 Mail the app works better than it currently does. Or, if you’re someone like me who likes to test things out and doesn’t care if certain things aren’t working, then go ahead and use the Windows 11 Mail app. For those who like things to work, you can use Microsoft Office and use the Outlook you’re used to until the final version of Windows 11 Mail is released.
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